ExxonMobil new US Baytown cracker begins operating

26 July 2018 16:49 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A new 1.5m tonne/year ethane cracker at ExxonMobil's complex in Baytown, Texas has begun operations, the company said on Thursday.

The ethane cracker is part of ExxonMobil's "Growing the Gulf Initiative", which includes two new polyethylene (PE) lines at the company's Mont Belvieu complex.

The two PE lines, which have a combined capacity of 1.3m tonnes/year, were mechanically complete in May, and production started on the first line in October. Both lines are now operating.

The ethylene from the new Baytown cracker will provide feedstock to the Mont Belvieu PE lines, the company said.

“Our new ethane cracker will help us meet the growing global demand for high performance plastic products that deliver key sustainability benefits such as lighter packaging weight, lower energy consumption and reduced emissions, further enhancing our competitiveness worldwide,” said John Verity, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company.

The ethane cracker had previously been expected to start up in late 2017, but the project was delayed due to effects from Hurricane Harvey. Commissioning activities for the cracker began in early February and ExxonMobil had expected to start up the cracker at mid-year.

ExxonMobil has begun operations at its new ethane cracker with a capacity of 1.5m tonnes/year of ethylene at its Baytown site, Texas. (Photo courtesy of ExxonMobil)

By Jessie Waldheim